You Can't Drown the Fire: Latin American Women Writing in Exile

Alicia Partnoy, Other Cleis Press $0 (258p) ISBN 978-0-939416-16-5
Partnoy (The Little School: Tales of Disappearance & Survival in Argentina), who was imprisoned during Argentina's military dictatorship, gives voice to women from eight politically oppressive Latin American countries. They relate their harrowing, valuable stories through essays, fiction, poetry and correspondence. Rigoberta Menchu, a Guatemalan Indian, describes how soldiers ``pulled out my little brother's fingernails, they had cut off parts of his ears and . . . his lips.'' She and her mother watched in silence (so they would not share the guerrilla's fate) as her brother was covered with gasoline and burned to death. Uruguayan Clara Piriz's ``Marriage by Pros and Cons'' is a letter to her husband, a political prisoner, whom she hasn't seen for 12 years: ``In my own way I love you. We'll have to see if my way and yours will meetand grow.'' Two particularly fascinating pieces chronicle the same event from opposite perspectives: journalists Laura Restrepo, part of the Colombian government peace commission, and Olga Behar, accompanying the guerrillas, cover attempted negotiations between the two groups. Both women subsequently fled the country as a result of death threats and now live in Mexico. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Hardcover - 258 pages - 978-0-939416-17-2
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